Aggressive action to slash methane pollution could slow global warming by as much as 30%, new research shows. The study, in press at the journal Environmental Research Letters, comes ahead of a UN report to be released next week that will call for “urgent steps [to] be taken to reduce methane emissions this decade.” Ilissa Ocko, senior climate scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund and a lead author of the study, told the Washington Post that “people talk about net zero in 2050, but what the temperature will be in 2050 will be determined by what we do now.”
Methane, the main component in so-called natural gas, is an extremely potent heat-trapping greenhouse gas. A full-scale effort to implement existing technologies to cut methane pollution could have a significant impact on efforts to avoid the most extreme impacts of climate change, the study says. “There’s no chance whatsoever to meet our climate targets if we don’t deal with the methane emissions that [the UN] report highlights,” Jonathan Banks, international director for methane at the non-profit Clean Air Task Force, told Reuters.
US Senate Restores Obama-Era Methane Emissions
The Senate voted yesterday to reinstate Obama-era safeguards designed to limit methane pollution for oil and gas fields via the Congressional Review Act. The Trump administration’s pre-election effort to undo regulations including leak protection requirements were seen as so extreme the gas industry worried they would undermine its messaging efforts to portray the methane-based fossil fuel as a clean alternative. The House is expected to pass a similar resolution, and as Dan Grossman of EDF told the New York Times, “once the president signs it, this will be the first move by Congress and this administration to actually put climate policy back on the books.”
Sources: AP, New York Times $; Climate Nexus backgrounder: Gas,Washington Post $; UN report: New York Times $, Reuters; Both: Earther
Courtesy of Nexus Media. Edited by CleanTechnica in response to news on Senate vote.
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:
I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...